Speedy Ortiz/photo by Noe Richard
So, for our readers who don't already know, the band's name comes from a character in the Hernandez brothers' Love and Rockets comics. I went through a phase in high-school where I couldn't get enough of indie comics and Love and Rockets was one of the first to open my eyes to what could be done outside of superheroes and spandex. When did you develop a relationship with comics?
I've read comics as long as I could remember. My mom bought me MAD Magazine when I was a tiny kid which pretty quickly turned into collecting comics together, learning how to draw characters I liked, and eventually drawing and writing my own stories.
In doing research for this interview, I happened upon what I believe is your Goodreads page and noticed a lot of graphic novels. Some you loved (Watchmen) some you didn't (The Walking Dead). Some of our authors are working on graphic novels of their own. What is it you look for from a great graphic novel?
So, lets get to Speedy. What is it about the character, Speedy Ortiz, that struck such a chord that you decided to name your band after him?
I've asked other artists this same question so I'm curious what you think. I know that as an aspiring novelist, I spend a lot of time wrapped up in music. I write important scenes to songs. I use songs to try to get into some of my characters' heads. It plays an important role in what I do with words. I've always been of the opinion, beyond actually writing lyrics, that there is a special kinship between authors and musicians. Still, I can't really play much of anything on my guitar (which doesn't stop me from shredding it up with my two kids). What is your take? Do you see music and writing as being partners?
The majority of our readers are pounding out words on their keyboards to try to tell stories and we all go through a variety of processes to get those stories out. What does your process look like when you are songwriting? Where do you struggle?
My rock soul was shaped in no small part by Sonic Youth. You recently toured with Thurston Moore. What was that experience like? Did you happen to catch what books he was reading?
In another nod to our readers, many of which are writing books for a younger readership...think middle school and high school...what's a book from your childhood that really stuck with you?
There's an interesting thing happening right now in the world of books related to self-publishing. E-readers have really opened the door for almost anyone to get a book out there into the hands of the public. With that addition to the market, there's been a backlash against self-published authors. For years and years and years there has been a DIY scene in music and it doesn't seem to have that same "You don't know what the fuck you're doing" vibe that lingers around book publishing. Your band itself began as a bedroom project. Why do you think the music scene has really embraced that spirit of self-promotion while DIY publishing is struggling with legitimacy?
If I jump into the backseat of your tour van and start poking around through your stuff, what books am I going to be dragging out of your duffel bags?